Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Health and Kinesiology


Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management

First Advisor

Paul D. Loprinzi

Relational Format



The AB/DE, AC/FG paired associate learning task, which has been utilized in numerous experimental studies, is purported to induce both proactive (PI) and retroactive interference (RI) simultaneously. However, until now, there have not been any studies validating or determining the optimal format of this paradigm. As such, the purpose of this series of experiments was to make manipulations to the task in order to maximize its efficacy. Across the series of experiments implemented herein, we manipulated various aspects of the paradigm (e.g., semantic relatedness of the word pairs, number of trials) driven by theoretical underpinnings of memory interference theory. Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrated RI effects, but no evidence of PI. Experiment 3 demonstrated a RI facilitation effect, but no PI. Experiments 4A and 4B, successfully induced PI, yet no evidence of RI was observed. Future experimentation is needed in order to continue this avenue of study and researchers should thoroughly contemplate the utilization of this task until it is comprehensively validated.



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